When it comes to facts about animals abuse, dogs and cats get the most attention. According to the ASPCA, shelters euthanize 670,000 dogs every year in the United States. And 860,000 cats meet the same fate.
These facts about animal abuse do not include the number of animals that are beaten to death or starved by their owners or dumped on the highway to die before they can be saved by a rescue group or picked up by animal control.
The good news is that this statistic is going down. Due to the proliferation of rescue groups who pull animals out of pounds and high-kill shelters, the United States is euthanizing fewer dogs than ten years ago.
What you can do: Don’t breed your animals. Spay and neuter your pets. Adopt a dog directly from a high-kill shelter. Volunteer at a no-kill rescue. Start up your own no-kill rescue.
Facts about animals abuse: Corporate chickens
If you pick up a brand-name chicken at the grocery store, chances are it was factory farmed. It might be beautifully packaged and cheap. The chickens, themselves, are paying the balance on that cheap meal.
Factory farming involves placing chickens in cages where they are virtually immobile. They can’t move naturally, as they would do in the wild, and that makes them get fat faster.
Chickens in these conditions sometimes peck each other to death out of frustration and madness. To prevent that, some farm owners chop off their beaks. Factory farmers also dose chickens with growth hormones.
What you can do: Pay the extra bucks for organic eggs and chickens. Look for the terms “organic” or “free-range” on the packaging and buy that instead of Tyson. Better yet, buy your chicken and eggs at the farmer’s market. Get involved with community supported agriculture programs in your community. This involves supporting small local farms by pledging to buy a certain amount of food from them every month. In many cases, the farms will deliver a box of veggies to your door. If your local codes permit it, you can raise your own chickens.
Facts about animals abuse: Extinction
Many animal species are dying out altogether. Sea turtles like the loggerhead, leatherback, and the Kemp’s Ridley are dying out because people and businesses near the ocean don’t turn their lights off at night.
Polar bears, penguins, and snow hares are in danger of extinction due to climate change, especially warmer temperatures in the arctic.
Monarch butterflies are in danger because too many people think that milkweed is a weed and they pull it up and trash it instead of cherishing it. Milkweed is the monarch caterpillar’s only food. Without it, there will be no more monarchs.
Worldwide, trophy hunters, endangered species traders, and ivory merchants are decimating gorillas, elephants, tigers, and rhinos.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of the dangers to animals.
Facts about animal abuse: The myth of human superiority
Anyone who has owned a cat or dog knows that animals feel pain. Animals also feel joy, affection, loyalty, protectiveness, outrage, and loneliness.
To assume that people are more important than animals is egotistical. There’s no science for that assumption. When we “test” animals to see if they are as smart as we are, we skew the results by testing for what we are good at.
In many arenas, animals are superior to humans. Here are just a few examples:
- Chameleons can change color. Humans can’t.
- Dogs can smell illegal cargo (guns, invasive species, endangered species, bombs). If people could do this, we wouldn’t need cargo sniffing dogs.
- Monkeys can grasp a rail and hang from their feet.
- Cats not only find their way home if they have been stolen or lost, they can also find their owners at a new and unfamiliar address. This is called psi trailing.